the nyc tour

FAVORITES OF EAT/SEE/SHOP/DO/DRINK in NYC. 

EAT | EAT | EAT :

  • Fatty Cue – (closed) 91 South 6th Street Brooklyn, NY 11249 | (718) 599-3090 – Southeast Asian cuisine and Malyasian street food meets American barbecue on executive chef Corwin Kave and pitmaster Robbie Richter’s inspired menu. The unexpected pairing of traditional smoky barbecue with rabbit, brisket, and ribs with fish-palm syrup, Indonesian long pepper, maple syrups, kaffir lime, and mint is wonderful. The drink menu is also a bric-a-brac of cultural references. If your pan-asian tastes aren’t so married to the idea of slabs of duck, pig, and other meats, you can slurp bowls of the house noodles, which come in a vegetarian variety (with mushrooms and a poached egg) or sunk in a flavorful “meat juice” broth topped with fresh-cut scallions and chiles. I am particularly crazy about the crunchy kale salad. My two favorites cocktails are the Smokin’ Bone (bourbon, smoked pineapple, lime, tabasco, chocolate) and the restaurant’s take on the Michelada (malay sangrita, lime, beer, chili salt). Don’t forget, although portions are small (think Tapas sized) everything is meant for sharing!
  • Whitehall – 19 Greenwich Ave, New York 10014 (Btwn Christopher & 10th St) | (212) 675-7261 – Whitehall is an 85-seat, London-themed restaurant and bar. This modern British bistro makes sure the fallacy of bland English food is dead. Something called the Oysters Kilpatrick (smoked bacon, oysters, worcestershire dressing) always pleases. Chef Chris Rendell is working the British-classics (with a twist) angle and succeeds – the menu is vintage inspired by 20th century farmer’s dishes and locally sourced materials. Some dishes come with a mysterious sauce called “Gentleman’s Relish” (hopefully no euphemisms in that phrase). For brunch a cocktail called the Red Snapper (gin, tomato juice,herbs and spices,olive,lemon) is actually a redo of the original recipe for a Bloody Mary. At night, at the always crowed bar, the East Side (gin, mint leaves, lime juice, cucumber) is a cool solution to your new favorite sip. Gin reigns supreme throughout the entire libations menu. The decor is meant to evoke the feeling of sitting in a tube (train) station.
  • Marc Forgione – 134 Reade St. New York City 10013 | (212)-941-9401 – Perfect for romantic occasions. The dimly lit restaurant, run by Iron Chef winner Forgione, has a quirky menu complete with chicken cooked by a brick, Meyer lemon pastas, and “egg in a jar”. The chef is the Dr. Seuss of gustatory creations. My paramour and I went for a special Valentine’s Day inspired menu wherein every course featured supposed aphrodisiacs (oysters, chocolate, etc). It also does not hurt that he looks a bit like Robert de Niro in TAXI and is often spotted in the kitchen.
  • Marc Forgione – 134 Reade St., New York City, 10013 | (212)-941-9401 – Perfect for romantic occasions. The dimly lit restaurant, run by Iron Chef winner Forgione, has a quirky menu complete with chicken cooked by a brick, Meyer lemon pastas, and “egg in a jar”. The chef is the Dr. Seuss of gustatory creations. My paramour and I went for a special Valentine’s Day inspired menu wherein every course featured supposed aphrodisiacs (oysters, chocolate, etc). It also does not hurt that he looks a bit like Robert de Niro in TAXI and is often spotted in the kitchen.
  • Pho Bang Restaurant – 157 Mott St., New York, NY 10013, b/t Broome St & Grand St in Little Italy | (212) 966-3797 –  Try the Com Tay Câm, a Vietnamese rice dish served in a clay pot that’s perfect for warming cold hands and hearts. This unexpected dive isn’t aesthetically gorgeous – in fact, its decor is reminiscent of a bus stop. Even still, the secret beer menu, and the consistently delicious (albeit MSG-ed) Pho Bang is exactly what you want in this busy neighborhood.  Did I mention that it’s CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP?

SEE | SEE | SEE:

  • The High Line – The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan’s largest industrial district, the Meatpacking. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Thus comes in, Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park. Running along a large breadth of the West Side, the park boasts amazing sunset views over the river, as well as sunning decks, public art installation, kids programming, quirky architectural spottings, and wifi. As of March 2012, Section 1 (Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street) and Section 2 (West 20th Street to West 30th Street) are open to the public.
  • Andy Warhol Monument – Artist Rob Pruitt unveiled The Andy Monument on March 30th, 2012 around 11 a.m., at 17th Street and Broadway. He was commissioned by the Public Art Fund to create the 10-foot-tall piece, who tell us it’s just “down the street from another Union Square West Factory location, around the corner from Max’s Kansas City—a favorite Warhol haunt—and close to the spot where Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanas in 1968.” Warhol would also often stand near this spot handing out copies of his magazine, Interview. As you view this silver lined statue, overlooking Union Square, visit a local flea market and pretend to be part of The Factory!
  • Greenwich Village Historic District, NYC – A quiet and neighborhood like escape, in this area it’s easy to remember the bohemian New York of the early 1900’s. A stroll through this district allows a person to visit sites associated with romance in literature (the birth of the Beat Movement) and history, including Grove Court, which inspired O. Henry setting in The Last Leaf’; the Victorian townhouse where Woodrow Wilson proposed to First Lady Edith Galt; and the site of the first presidential wedding. The Village even hosted the first racially integrated night club in the United States. If you’re lucky, you might even notice a small plaque on a second floor of a brownstone dedicated to Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay (IT GIRL of the 1920’s). Thomas Hardy is quoted as saying that, “America has two great attractions: skyscrapers and Edna St. Vincent Mallay.” Learn more about this awe-inspiring area, HERE. While you’re on the streets, grab a pre-dinner drink at Hotel Griffou (Smoke & Fire – Herradura Tequila, Ilegal Mezcal, Agave, Lime & Grapefruit Juice with Housemade Habanero Sauce).

DO | DO | DO:

  • The Rubin Museum of Art – A Day, A Dinner and a Movie – Although the Museum is dedicated to the art of the Himalayas and surrounding regions, its public programming assimilates and spreads the message of its art forms in creative and beautiful ways. On a Friday night, at 9:00 pm, for nary the donation purchase of a glass of wine, listen to the curators speak about a movie, explain how it relates to the collections, and screen a famous film. These screenings of classic films from around the world explore themes featured in the museum’s galleries. The buddhist tearoom and collections on Tibetan comics are a personal favorite! Each film is introduced by a notable guest to provide context. Plan your entire day perusing the galleries, then get dinner and a movie late night in the Museum.
  • Neue Galerie – 1048 5th Ave New York, NY 10028 – (212) 628-6200 – Neue Galerie New York is a museum devoted to early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design, displayed on two exhibition floors. The second-floor galleries are dedicated to art from Vienna circa 1900, exploring the special relationship that existed then between the fine arts (of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka) and the decorative arts (created at the Wiener Werkstätte by such well-known figures as Josef Hoffmann, and Dagobert Peche, and by such celebrated architects as Adolf Loos Otto Wagner). The third-floor galleries feature German art representing various movements of the early twentieth century: the Blaue Reiter and its circle (Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Marc); the Brücke ; the Bauhaus; as well as applied arts from the Bauhaus (Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe).The building was completed in 1914 by Carrère & Hastings, also architects of the New York Public Library. It has been designated a landmark by the New York Landmarks Commission and is generally considered to be one of the most distinguished buildings ever erected on Fifth Avenue. There are also two cafes in the space, Sabarsky and Flerdermaus, each outfitted in period details, a fin-de-siecle menu, and cabaret nights!
  • Brooklyn Bridge – Walk Across – The Brooklyn Bridge connects two great New York City boroughs: Manhattan and Brooklyn. You can walk it, drive it, bike it, or just admire it. One way or the other, the Brooklyn Bridge soaring over the East River is one of New York City’s most famous routes. At various times, the bridge has carried horse-drawn and trolley traffic; at present, it has six lanes for motor vehicles, with a separate walkway along the centerline for pedestrians and bicycles. Although one of the oldest suspension bridges in the US, it only held the title of the longest suspension bridge from 1883 until 1903. Just don’t jump off of it ala Saturday Night Fever. Here’s a wonderful How-To covering access on both the Brooklyn Side (best views of NYC skyline) and the Manhattan Side (easier access).

SHOP | SHOP | SHOP:

  • Pippin Vintage Home – 112½ West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011 | (212) 206 – 0008 – Pippin Vintage Home is your country get-away in the heart of Manhattan. They are uniquely located in a little house set behind a mirrored hallway on 17th street in Chelsea. You have to visit to appreciate this clever location. The stock of the antiques shop changes every Friday which lets the shopper return to a singular experience again, and again. Pippin is proud to offer what they tout as an “eco-friendly alternative to new furniture and home accessories”. In addition to solid constructed furniture, the shop carries lighting, tableware, art, frames, linens, ephemera, silver, and fun collectibles. Visiting feels like shopping in The Secret Garden. If you have extra time, swing by the Pippin Jewelry shop next door!
  • Second Time Around – Multiple Locations – If you are like me, you probably have items hanging in your closet that you never wear and for some reason or another, never give away. Rather than let the threads sit idly by, make a buck or two! Not to be confused with the idea of “thrift,” consignment is resale, and in the boutique’s case, resale that has gone upscale. Second Time Around’s take on consignment means that they look for designer clothes and accessories in great condition, creating a world of unique wardrobes with a smaller carbon footprint. If you don’t feel like giving any clothes away, shop in this closet of fashion from trendy New Yorkers (think Cher’s closet in Clueless but in 2012). I recently scored a backless velvet LBD by an Italian designer at $27. Cha-ching!
  • Henri Bendel – 712 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10019 nr. 56th St. – (212)-247-1100 – Although a conglomerate purchased Henri Bendel in the 1980s, this four-story luxury department store still exudes the atmosphere of an exclusive boutique. Founded by its namesake in 1895, Bendel attracted clients like the Astors and the Vanderbilts by importing designer wares and reportedly staging New York City’s first-ever fashion show. The founder’s tradition of showcasing up-and-coming upscale designers continues today, and celebrities such as Stephen Burrows and Anna Sui credit the store with the start of their success (New York Magazine). Although I cannot afford most things in the store, I go to try on items, feel chic, and re-inspire myself when I am feeling down. The energy and the beauty of the space always does the trick. The last time I visited I was particularly obsessed with necklaces of fruit wrapped in resin and trying on clothing from the curated Pat Fields collection (pretending I was in Sex & The City…ahem).

DRINK | DRINK | DRINK:

  • The Dove Parlour – 228 Thompson Street  New York, NY 10012 | (212) 254-1435 – Just south of Washington Square Park lies a den of old-timey decadence that boasts plush grandma’s couch decor and classy cocktails.  The vibe is part Edwardian Christmas Salon part hooker’s living room. The space is a great place for small groups and definitely dates as the lighting is right and its not too loud. Its a nice respite from the loud college bars and beer pong. The patterned red velvet wallpaper, gilded moldings, and decorated mantlepieces above a fireplace collectively set the mood for intimate sips yet the background music is more The Clash than classical. Cheap, fresh, delicious drinks and a long happy hour, what more do you need?  $7  specialty cocktails including fresh basil, cranberries, soy milk, fig infusions, brandied cherries and more. The Dove Parlour was also named as one of five New York City bars with the Best Cocktails in Shecky’s Bar, Club and Lounge Guide. I also highly recommend clever bites, such as toasts and charcuterie for the table.
  • Smith & Mills – 71 N Moore St (between Hudson St & Greenwich St)  New York, NY 10013 | (212) 226-2515 – An NYC hole-in-the-wall which looks more like a submarine or wartime bunker than a cozy libations joint. This spot, in the western nether-lands of Tribeca is snug. The recycled Edison light-bulbs, the emergency drinking waters, the flickering tea lights,  the reclaimed wooden stereo speakers and the french kitchen artifacts all add up to a memorable impression. The drinks are classics online – such as a Vesper, Negroni, Old Fashioned or a Dark & Stormy. Come for the scenery, stay for the drinks and the oysters. Above all, check out the sliding barn-door style bathroom replete with wrought iron, antique fixtures and other steam-punk relics.
  • Beatrice Inn – 285 W 12th St New York, NY 10014 | (917) 566-7400 – Travel back in time to when a weekend was sipping libations in the family salon while a Spinet piano was played and a paper was read. This longtime West Village basement, off of a cobble-stoned corner, enjoyed a short life in the early 2000’s as a too‑hip‑for‑words nightspot. The likes of me would have never been allowed in without a celebrity in tow. Thank goodness it was re-imagined as the more accessible, wood-paneled (rich mahogany) old school New York dining room, complete with fireplaces. The menu is seasonal and delicious, but the real standouts are the bartenders who can sling almost any drink, including my NYC favorite, The Penicillin. Old world vibe, with a new world cocktail menu.